MOBERLY, Mo. Nearly 2,000 teens from north-central Missouri packed into a building normally used for basketball games to watch motorcycle daredevils and hear about Jesus. From them, an estimated 300 responded to the preaching of motorcyclist Brad Bennett in making the decisions for Christ.
"The results were greater than I expected," said Vicky Snodgrass, one of many volunteers who worked to make the event possible. "I really didn't think anything like this would ever happen in Moberly. Why God used me, I don't know. I know the Bible teaches that God will use the most unlikely people, and I felt like I was the most unlikely to be used. It's incredible."
Before the message, Bennett the other two riders on his team fired up the crowd with daredevil, ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps. Later that night, he began the second part of the story, the most important part, the part about his acceptance of Christ.
Bennett told how he aspired to be a professional motocross racer. He attained that goal at the age of 19. Bennett shared how he was invited by Steve Wise, a big-name motocross racer, to a function at Wise's home, and how Wise confronted him with the Gospel that evening.
When Bennett invited students to make the same decision he made that eventful evening years ago, hands shot up throughout the activity center. And when Bennett asked those who held up their hands to make the decision public, what seemed like hundreds began moving toward Bennett.
"We do basically the same thing at every one of our events," Bennett said while reflecting on the Moberly production. "When churches get together, work together in unity and pray together and we do all the right things in the planning process, this is what happens. It was such a sweet spirit in that building at Moberly that night."
Bennett sensed that the Moberly event would be good before "one person showed up."
"When I get to an event on Sunday night, I can sense right away whether churches have been working together or not," Bennett said. "When churches don't work together and when they have not been bathing an event in prayer, it is obvious from the get-go."
Prayer plays a key role in the Real Encounter events.
"We had about 300 students at the Moberly High School auditorium for a city-side worship service the Sunday night before the event," Bennett said. "I could tell that night that God was up to something big.
"We asked students to pray for at least five of their friends that were lost. About 95 percent of the kids came to the altar that night, agreeing to fast from the Internet, radio and TV and pray. They were all at the altar on their faces. There were so many names going up to the Lord."